Lessons for Labour Hire Providers: JP Property Services Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (2017).

Queensland has passed, and South Australia is considering, labour hire licensing laws that apply to labour hire providers, who supply workers to another person to perform work.

Neither the Queensland nor the South Australian legislation develops the notion of what it means to “supply a worker”. That notion remains problematic because workers are not mere commodities that can be supplied in any ordinary sense of the word.

What has been missing from the legislative developments in Queensland and South Australia has been a detailed legal analysis of the rights that are exercised; the obligations that are triggered; and the effects that are created whenever a so-called “supply” takes place.

In this article, I draw on some of the legal analysis that has taken place when courts have tried to give meaning to similar expressions contained within payroll tax legislation.

In particular, I look at the recent New South Wales decision of JP Property Services Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] NSWSC 1391 (12 October 2017) and examine the extent to which the reasoning of the court in that case might provide useful insights into the direction of legal argument and the nature of the “fact sensitive enquiries” that will be necessary when applying the labour hire licensing legislation.
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